kaitak
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Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 1:59 pm

Tony Blair, the former British PM, has said on a television interview to be aired tomorrow (13 Dec) that Britain and the US would have invaded Iraq anyway, to remove Saddam Hussein, even if there had been no evidence of WMDs.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe.../britain.blair.iraq.war/index.html

Now this is very interesting - and disturbing. The whole premise of the invasion, I thought (and I'm sure a lot of people thought) was that Iraq had WMDs which were capable of being deployed against the UK in 45 minutes and regardless of what one thought of that claim (I never thought much of it - the guy (SH) was evil, not stupid), it had at least an element of self- defence about it, however unrealistic the threat.

Now, however, we see that the invasion would have gone ahead anyway; the objective was to remove SH and his two sons. And as we can see, things have improved a whole lot in the ME since that happened. Now, the irony is that Iraq has become such a mess that people are looking for a ruthless, unscrupulous bastard who is tyrannical enough to hold the whole country together, through fear. Where can we find such a guy? "Er ... he's the guy we deposed and hanged ..."

The result of the invasion is that the main threat to stability in the ME - Iran - is now a lot stronger and of course, Al Qaeda is alive and kicking. And 2,000+ US, British and other troops dead (and thousands of Iraqis). Well done Tony (and George).

Former PM Blair will be questioned at the Chilcot inquiry in the new year about the lead-up to war and although this is not a court of law, in the sense that Blair cannot be convicted, the inquiry can rule on the legality of the war.
 
Scorpio
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 2:30 pm

Don't see how this is so surprising, it's what we've known for a while now: Bush and Blair didn't invade Iraq because it had WMDs, Iraq 'had WMDs' because Bush and Blair wanted to invade it. The only really surprising this here is that Blair now actually admitted it.
 
Rara
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 2:39 pm

Yeah, nothing new really. Bush will admit it as well, come time.
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baroque
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 2:44 pm



Quoting Kaitak (Thread starter):
Former PM Blair will be questioned at the Chilcot inquiry in the new year about the lead-up to war and although this is not a court of law, in the sense that Blair cannot be convicted, the inquiry can rule on the legality of the war.

This reminds me that in another thread I mentioned Andrew Wilkie resigned due to his not agreeing with the intell conclusions and I forgot the resignations of Robin Cook and Claire Short. Praise to them for their principled stand too. And shame on Blair in part for his unjustified war but even more for participating when it was known there were no adequate plans for after the war. Shame too for sitting idly by while the US disbanded the Iraq army and allowed the place to be looted.
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 4:08 pm

Well it wasn't the best decision in the world, but at least we got rid of a dictator.

Let's wait a few more years after International troops have pulled out and then we'll see the true outcome of the effort in Iraq.
 
RussianJet
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 4:27 pm



Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 4):
but at least we got rid of a dictator.

Are you referring to Tony Blair? His disgusting comments confirm what we already knew - that the opinion of the country was going to be ignored regardless of what happened and regardless of which pathetic excuses he used to try and deceive us. the man makes me sick.
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 4:36 pm



Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 4):
Well it wasn't the best decision in the world, but at least we got rid of a dictator.

And then "we" abused and tortured prisoners in Abu Ghraib and Gitmo, rendering the only argument that speaks for the invasion moot.
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GDB
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 4:44 pm

Baroque, I would not give Claire Short too much credit, to national exasperation she 'agonised' in public about whether she should resign or not, thinking that he staying in her post would help the situation on the ground.
Or as one commentator put it, oh for god's sake someone shoot her!

This, like much else on the build up to war, was hilariously parodied in the sublime film In The Loop , a spin off from the equally brilliant BBC political satire The Thick Of It.
In the movie, unlike the fictional 'Department Of Social Affairs', of the TV show, they have a real ministry, Claire Short's one, 'International Development'.
Actor Tom Hollander, playing the Secretary Of State who is out of his depth twists and turns about his potential for resignation.

Like the TV show, Peter Capaldi plays the ferocious, ultra sweary, hyper intense to the point of near madness, Government Press 'Enforcer', one Malcolm Tucker.
Inspired by Blair's own Alistair Campbell, whose impromptu appearance of Channel 4 News in July 2003 looked for all the world like an out take from a John Clesse meltdown in 'Fawtly Towers'.
This I suspect inspired the writer in creating Malcolm Tucker, also the revelation that in Washington in the Bush era, you had kids in their early 20's just out of higher education making major policies, this is alluded to strongly in the film too.

In The Loop also has a US cast, including an ultra arrogant, deceitful type with some of the appearance and a lot of a character of Donald Rumsfeld.
Also James Gandolfini of Sopranos fame, as a US general trying to halt the slide to war.

Great satire sometimes has more real truth than more conventional drama, although In The Loop is not set in 2003, the Mid East nation which is set for invasion is never named, I would rate it as good a way of looking back at the road to the Iraq war as anything else.
If you like your humour jet black.

Official trailer;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQrqMkCuHqA
(A non sweary one. I'd probably get suspended or banned from here if I linked some of the others on You Tube, including ones like this also from the film production company).

[Edited 2009-12-12 09:03:54]
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 7:28 pm



Quoting RussianJet (Reply 5):
Are you referring to Tony Blair?

Don't be so silly.

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 6):
And then "we" abused and tortured prisoners in Abu Ghraib and Gitmo, rendering the only argument that speaks for the invasion moot.

Abu Ghraib itself has nothing to do with Iraq. Abu Ghraib was a mistake, but it doesn't change the fact that it was a good thing to get rid of Saddam.
 
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 8:27 pm



Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 4):
but at least we got rid of a dictator.

Many Iraqis say life was better under Saddam. Seems they had some stability and didn't have to worry about being blown up by a random suicide bomber.

http://www.kuwaittimes.net/read_news.php?newsid=MzkyNDU1OTY5

Saddam's rule 'better' for gay Iraqis
Investigating reports of the murder and torture of gay men in Iraq, Ashley Byrne found that some gays found Saddam Hussein's dictatorship preferable to the threat of violence they face today. Some readers will find parts of his report disturbing.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8133639.stm
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HAWK21M
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 8:30 pm

When Bush came into power,he named three countries in his Axis of evil qoute  Smile
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OA412
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 8:35 pm



Quoting Scorpio (Reply 1):
Don't see how this is so surprising, it's what we've known for a while now: Bush and Blair didn't invade Iraq because it had WMDs, Iraq 'had WMDs' because Bush and Blair wanted to invade it. The only really surprising this here is that Blair now actually admitted it.

Exactly. It's what most of us have known since before the invasion happened. Bush and Blair were going to invade Iraq no matter what.

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 4):
Well it wasn't the best decision in the world, but at least we got rid of a dictator.

And what about all of those other dictators still in power? If we were really interested in deposing dictators, we should have started with Saudi Arabia.
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RussianJet
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 8:38 pm



Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 8):
Quoting RussianJet (Reply 5):
Are you referring to Tony Blair?

Don't be so silly.

Begging your pardon, but totally ignoring the will of the people and forging ahead with your own silly plans in spite of such clear and massive opposition is precisely dictatorial behaviour. That's how it felt to me and millions of other UK voters. You may disagree, but kindly refrain from calling me silly.
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AirPacific747
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 8:48 pm



Quoting Springbok747 (Reply 9):
Many Iraqis say life was better under Saddam. Seems they had some stability and didn't have to worry about being blown up by a random suicide bomber.

That's why we should wait till a few years after military has been pulled out of Iraq.

Quoting OA412 (Reply 11):
And what about all of those other dictators still in power? If we were really interested in deposing dictators, we should have started with Saudi Arabia.

Yes you're right.

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 12):

Well it was a really silly comment, sorry to say so. He was elected by the British people. At the time Iraq was invaded, most people in the West was for the war believing Saddam had WMD. It's always easy pointing fingers later on. As I said, it wasn't the best decision, probably not worth it, but at least we got rid of Saddam.
 
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 8:56 pm



Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 13):
Well it was a really silly comment, sorry to say so. He was elected by the British people. At the time Iraq was invaded, most people in the West was for the war believing Saddam had WMD.

I'm with RussianJet on this one. You are right in that he was elected by the British people however, his disregard for the democratic process and his total disregard for popular opinion in his home country is indicative of dictatorial behavior. Now, was he a dictator on the level of Saddam Hussein? Of course not. But, Blair showed a lack of respect for the democratic process when he invaded Iraq. Furthermore, popular opinion in the UK and much of the West was actually against the war not for it.
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AirPacific747
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 9:15 pm



Quoting OA412 (Reply 14):
and his total disregard for popular opinion in his home country is indicative of dictatorial behavior. Now, was he a dictator on the level of Saddam Hussein? Of course not. But, Blair showed a lack of respect for the democratic process when he invaded Iraq. Furthermore, popular opinion in the UK and much of the West was actually against the war not for it.

Do you have any poll or anything to back up this statement? Yes he should have acted more accordingly to the public opinion if true, but you cant use it as an argument to call him a dictator. Is Obama also a dictator in everything he does, if his approval rating drops below what is needed to be re-elected in the next election?
 
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 9:40 pm



Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 13):
At the time Iraq was invaded, most people in the West was for the war believing Saddam had WMD.

That is patently false the way you're using it as an excuse for the invasion.

Everybody was in agreement that Saddam had had WMDs once before, but after the first Gulf War these had been successfully dismantled by the UN inspectors.

What "most" informed people actually assumed was that Saddam might still or again have some WDMs.

This had a lot to do with advocating another round of UN inspections, but it had absolutely nothing to do with stabbing the UN inspectors in the back like Bush, Blair, Aznar and a few others did.

Your claim is completely, utterly and insultingly false and you should stop using it again after everything we know for sure today.
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 9:44 pm



Quoting Klaus (Reply 16):
Everybody was in agreement that Saddam had had WMDs once before, but after the first Gulf War these had been successfully dismantled by the UN inspectors.

What "most" informed people actually assumed was that Saddam might still or again have some WDMs.

Sorry I think it is exactly what I said by saying that we believed he had WMD.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 16):
Your claim is completely, utterly and insultingly false and you should stop using it again after everything we know for sure today.

I don't see how it is.
 
RussianJet
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 9:59 pm



Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 13):
Well it was a really silly comment, sorry to say so.

No, it wasn't, but again - if you disagree then at least say so in respectful terms.

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 13):
He was elected by the British people.

Yes, in other words ME and my countrymen. We did not elect that government so that they could lead us into wars willy-nilly and ignore the will of the people. The level of protest in the UK was unprecedented and I can honestly say that I know not one single person who was genuinely in favour of this nonsense.

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 13):
most people in the West was for the war believing Saddam had WMD

That is not true.
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AirPacific747
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:05 pm

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 18):
No, it wasn't, but again - if you disagree then at least say so in respectful terms.

Yes it was, but I will do so in the future.

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 18):
Yes, in other words ME and my countrymen. We did not elect that government so that they could lead us into wars willy-nilly and ignore the will of the people. The level of protest in the UK was unprecedented and I can honestly say that I know not one single person who was genuinely in favour of this nonsense.

Who said it wasn't the will of the people? As far as I remember, most of the West approved of the war at the time it was started. I know for a fact that in my country, most people was for the war, and for staying in the country for a very long time.

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 18):
That is not true.

I believe it is true.

Based on a wikipedia article (even though they are not always reliable I think this is not far from the truth):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popular..._in_the_US_on_the_invasion_of_Iraq

" A USA Today/Gallup Poll, taken prior to the invasion in March 2003, indicated that 75% of US citizens felt the invasion was not a mistake. However, according to the same poll retaken in April 2007, 58% of the participants stated that the initial attack was a mistake.[1"

Yes, people afterwards admitted the war was a mistake, I don't deny that, but not at the time the war began. I doubt the poll was much different in the UK.

And even before 9/11 people in the US believed it would be a good idea to invade Iraq:

"Seven months prior to the September 11 attacks a Gallup poll showed that 52% would favor an invasion of Iraq while 42% would oppose it.[3] Additionally, 64% said that the U.S. should have removed Saddam at the end of the Gulf War.[4]"

So at least G.W. Bush wasn't a dictator. I hope you agree, despite what else you might think of him.

[Edited 2009-12-12 14:15:53]
 
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:13 pm



Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 17):
I don't see how it is.

You said most people in the west were for the war. That is patently false.
 
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:15 pm



Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 19):
I know for a fact that in my country, most people was for the war, and for staying in the country for a very long time.

Surprising, but if you say so....

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 19):
Who said it wasn't the will of the people? As far as I remember, most of the West approved of the war at the time it was started.

Here in the UK, as I already mentioned, we had unprecented levels of public opposition. Massive demonstrations, banners, posters, massive commentary in the various media against the war, and as I said - not a single person I came into contact with actually in favour to any serious extent. It was obvious. Everyone was talking about it. It was not wanted, was not what we elected them for, we told them that, and they did it anyway. They lied to us about the reasons, over and over again, in some thinly-veiled attempt to buy support, and now - the icing on the cake - they have effectively admitted that all the fuss about WMDs, the supposed vital pretext for invasion, was exactly what we always knew it to be - a lie and a pretext for regime change.
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AirPacific747
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:17 pm

Quoting Scorpio (Reply 20):
You said most people in the west were for the war. That is patently false.

No, I don't believe it is false.

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 21):
Here in the UK, as I already mentioned, we had unprecented levels of public opposition. Massive demonstrations, banners, posters, massive commentary in the various media against the war

There will always be people against any decision made no matter what it is about. This still doesn't prove that the majority of the UK population didn't approve of the war at the time it was initiated.

[Edited 2009-12-12 14:20:06]
 
RussianJet
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:34 pm



Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 22):
There will always be people against any decision made no matter what it is about

I guess you didn't pay attention to the 'unprecedented' part of what I wrote. I cannot remember anything with such widespread and vocal disapproval as the Iraq invasion. I am not just talking about 'some people' disapproving a Government decision. Do I know every single citizen in the country? Obviously not, like you don't in yours, but for a well-informed, widely-read and intelligent person in the UK it was easy to guage the mood. It was everywhere. I'm not going to argue about it - it was obvious throughout.
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AirPacific747
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:39 pm

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 23):

I guess you didn't pay attention to the 'unprecedented' part of what I wrote. I cannot remember anything with such widespread and vocal disapproval as the Iraq invasion. I am not just talking about 'some people' disapproving a Government decision. Do I know every single citizen in the country? Obviously not, like you don't in yours, but for a well-informed, widely-read and intelligent person in the UK it was easy to guage the mood. It was everywhere. I'm not going to argue about it - it was obvious throughout.

Perhaps it was, but at least 50% of the UK population approved at beginning of the war:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_..._Security_Council_and_the_Iraq_War

"United Kingdom - Within the Security Council, the UK was the primary supporter of the U.S. plan to invade Iraq. Prime Minister Tony Blair publicly and vigorously supported U.S. policy on Iraq, and portrayed himself as exerting a moderating influence on Bush. British public opinion polls in late January showed that the public support for the war was deteriorating. It had fallen from 50 percent to 30 percent by March. "

So now we can also conclude that Tony Blair was not a "dictator" either.

And it also leads me to think that people are just using Bush & Blair as scapegoats because they have bad conscience about the war in Iraq now, which seemed somewhat popular at the time it was initiated.

[Edited 2009-12-12 14:47:54]
 
RussianJet
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:50 pm

The following links help give a taste of how against the Iraq war the UK population was and is (and in the first link apparently Denmark's population was more against the war than the UK).

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/h...aq_euro_war_views/html/default.stm

http://www.icmresearch.co.uk/pdfs/2006_july_guardian_july_poll.pdf

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...20601102&sid=a3ULf5Igcm7s&refer=uk
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AirPacific747
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:57 pm



Quoting RussianJet (Reply 25):

The bloomberg link is not based on opinions before the war.

The bbc link doesnt show the actual approval rating of the war once it was initiated.

The third link, well I dont know what that is.
 
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:05 pm



Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 26):
The bloomberg link is not based on opinions before the war.

.....which is why I said 'was and is'.

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 26):
The third link, well I dont know what that is.

Well try reading through it then (hint: there are several pages). It is a good overall indicator of the fact that the UK population is sick of this crap.

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 26):
The bbc link doesnt show the actual approval rating of the war once it was initiated.

No, it shows that people didn't want it in the first place. Should all government decisions be made like that? 'Well, we know you don't want it but that's ok because you might grow to like it slightly more so we'll just ignore your concerns and do it anyway'. Great.
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kaitak
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:06 pm



Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 15):
Do you have any poll or anything to back up this statement? Yes he should have acted more accordingly to the public opinion if true, but you cant use it as an argument to call him a dictator

I think calling him a dictator is a bit strong, BUT it seems increasingly clear that he twisted the law to his own ends by supporting - and participating a war - on grounds which he knew or should have known to be false. We know, already, that the grounds put forward for the war - the existence of WMD was at best shaky; we know that the argument that SH could have waged war against the UK within 45 minutes was so weak as to be laughable (not just because SH lacked the equipment, but because it would have been suicide), so he was taking his country to war based on reasons - which he had put to his people - which he knew to be false. Those who supported the war (admittedly a majority at the time) were doing so on the basis of information they had been given by their government - information which they should have been able to believe; those reasons were false. TB knew that if he gave the actual reasons for going to war, public support would not have been there.

Blair, like Saddam, was not an idiot; he was - and is a bright guy; he was an able barrister. What he did was unforgivable. To be, in one sense, he is more culpable than Bush; Bush, to my mind, was always a cypher, a front man for the neocons and the likes of Cheney, Rumsfeld etc; TB was not under their influence or control; he could and should have asked questions which would have avoided the need to go to war, even something as simple as asking, "why not leave Iraq to one side for the moment and focus on Afghanistan and Al Qaeda". Instead, BILLIONS were spent on a war which, six years later, has achieved nothing of great use; Saddam could easily have been contained for another few years and if all of the effort and expense that went into that invasion had gone into Afghanistan, Al Qaeda could have been taken out.

I always liked TB as PM, even after the Iraq war began (because I believed the reasoning given), but now my respect for him has gone. I think that history will judge TB harshly and I think that we have a lot of learn from the way in which the war was handled and how the case for going to war was handled. One thing is clear: it will influence the way in which the UK and US go to war in future.
 
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:07 pm



Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 22):
No, I don't believe it is false.

It absolutely is false yet you continue to repeat it over and over again.

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 15):
Do you have any poll or anything to back up this statement?

I'm sorry but I'm supposed to provide a source but you continue to repeat your patently false assertion that most people in the west were for the Iraq war without providing a source for your claim? There's some interesting logic for you.

Regardless, here is a paper indicating that public opinion was clearly anti-war in German, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Russia, and Turkey. Greece is not mentioned but public opinion was very much against war there as well. Britain is the only European country mentioned where public opinion was definitively in favor of war. Parts of Eastern Europe are mentioned as being possibly in favor of war but I do recall at the time reading that there were Eastern European countries in which public opinion was over 90% against the war.

http://ics.leeds.ac.uk/papers/pmt/exhibits/1983/Hafez-Irak.pdf
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GDB
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:17 pm

The only reason Blair got re-elected in 2005, (with a much smaller majority and with about as low a share of the vote as you can get to win with, in a 'first past the post' system) was that the opposition Tories had backed Blair on the war.

Now they say they were 'duped' by Blair on the WMD's too, however most know that they might well have done the exact same thing had they been in power.
However, like in most democracies most of the time, domestic and economic issues are the main ones in a general election.

Also the Tories had a leader who was not seen as being a good potential Prime Minister.
Maggie Thatcher was wildly unpopular in many parts of the UK for all her time in office, like all very successful politicians she had her share (some would say more than her share), of luck.
A deeply divided opposition with not credible leaders, enemies ranging from the Argentine Junta to the swivel eyed, deluded, Marxist, leader of the Mineworkers Union, Arthur Scargill.

Certainly the anti war protest in London of 1st Feb 2003 was unprecedented in modern times.
In it's size and scope.
It was laughable to hear them dismissed as the usual suspects on the political fringes, by some US commentators, everyone here knew it was much more than that.
All those fringe types added up in the whole country would not have got near the size of the march, they were there, but so were many, many others.
And that's what made it so dangerous for the government.

Had Blair not won the vote in the House Of Commons to go to war, he would have had to resign.
He used the WMD threat to win it.
It was his main weapon alongside his considerable powers of persuasion.
He managed to turn around enough MP's, most in his own party, to win it.

So you can imagine the anger when those weapons were never found.
He considered resignation himself when this came to light, only talked down from it by other senior ministers.
That was not the only factor in this near resignation in 2004, but he was a chastened figure because of it, including health problems probably caused or exacerbated by extreme stress.
 
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:20 pm



Quoting RussianJet (Reply 27):
which is why I said 'was and is'.

But it is still not relevant.

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 27):
Well try reading through it then (hint: there are several pages). It is a good overall indicator of the fact that the UK population is sick of this crap.

Yes, I never denied that the approval of the war in Iraq is gone today, yet you keep bringing it up. This, however, was not the public opinion at the beginning of the war.

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 27):

No, it shows that people didn't want it in the first place. Should all government decisions be made like that? 'Well, we know you don't want it but that's ok because you might grow to like it slightly more so we'll just ignore your concerns and do it anyway'. Great.

Well it is still not that relevant when it doesn't show actual approval ratings once the war was initiated.

Quoting Kaitak (Reply 28):
We know, already, that the grounds put forward for the war - the existence of WMD was at best shaky

Yes, probably, but no one knows how much they actually believed that Saddam had WMD. They (leaders of the countries in the coalition) had to rely on their intelligence agencies to make a decision whether to go to war or not.

Quoting OA412 (Reply 29):
It absolutely is false yet you continue to repeat it over and over again.

No, I still don't believe it is. It is fine you have your own opinion, but don't make it sound like it is the truth.

Quoting OA412 (Reply 29):
I'm sorry but I'm supposed to provide a source but you continue to repeat your patently false assertion that most people in the west were for the Iraq war without providing a source for your claim? There's some interesting logic for you.

Regardless, here is a paper indicating that public opinion was clearly anti-war in German, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Russia, and Turkey. Greece is not mentioned but public opinion was very much against war there as well. Britain is the only European country mentioned where public opinion was definitively in favor of war. Parts of Eastern Europe are mentioned as being possibly in favor of war but I do recall at the time reading that there were Eastern European countries in which public opinion was over 90% against the war.

I don't know where that source comes from, but it is a bad source as no numbers are included, so I would say that it is invalid.
 
RussianJet
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:21 pm



Quoting OA412 (Reply 29):
Britain is the only European country mentioned where public opinion was definitively in favor of war

That is not true. The UK was no way 'definitively in favour of war' in terms of its public opinion.
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AirPacific747
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:26 pm



Quoting RussianJet (Reply 32):
That is not true. The UK was no way 'definitively in favour of war' in terms of its public opinion.

Let's just skip this source all together.
 
RussianJet
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:30 pm



Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 33):
Let's just skip this source all together.

Yeah, and let's skip the fact that I've lived in my country all my life, know it better than the ten fingers on my hands, read a huge range of media, travel around a lot, have a diverse and well distributed range of acquaintances, and throughout the entire build up to the war saw with my own eyes and heard with my own ears how against the war people really were.  sarcastic 
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AirPacific747
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:32 pm



Quoting RussianJet (Reply 34):
Yeah, and let's skip the fact that I've lived in my country all my life, know it better than the ten fingers on my hands, read a huge range of media, travel around a lot, have a diverse and well distributed range of acquaintances, and throughout the entire build up to the war saw with my own eyes and heard with my own ears how against the war people really were.

Where did that just come from?? I'm finding numbers and facts also concerning the UK, just like you're finding numbers and facts concerning Denmark.
 
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:35 pm

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 31):
I don't know where that source comes from, but it is a bad source as no numbers are included, so I would say that it is invalid.

No you believe it's a bad source because it disproves your position and you therefore take issue with it. I'll ask again, since you are so convinced of your position that the war was supported by a majority of those in the west, where is your source to prove it.

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 32):
That is not true. The UK was no way 'definitively in favour of war' in terms of its public opinion.

Yeah I should have worded that better. IIRC public opinion in the UK just before the war tipped slightly in favor of invasion correct? However, you are right that never was the British public overwhelmingly in favor of invasion.

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 33):
Let's just skip this source all together.

Because it disagrees with your opinion? Again, please provide your source indicating that the war was supported by a majority of Western public opinion since you are so convinced of the certainty of your position.

[Edited 2009-12-12 15:38:19]
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AirPacific747
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:38 pm



Quoting OA412 (Reply 36):
No you believe it's a bad source because it disproves your position and you therefore take issue with it. I'll ask again, since you are so convinced of your position that the war was supported by a majority of those in the west, where is your source to prove it.

No, I believe it is a bad source, because:

a) I don't know the author of this source
b) No numbers are included

Quoting OA412 (Reply 36):
Yeah I should have worded that better. IIRC public opinino in the UK just before the war tipped slightly in favor of invasion correct? However, you are right that never was the British public overwhelmingly in favor of invasion.

So now you discredit your own source right after you're telling me that I am disapproving of it because it doesn't support my views?
I smell double standards.

Quoting OA412 (Reply 36):
Because it disagrees with your opinion? Again, please provide your source indicating that the war was supported by a majority of Western public opinion since you are so convinced of the certainty of your position.

See the above reply.
 
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sun Dec 13, 2009 12:43 am

I can't help but think that Blair is trying to get this bad news out of the way now, so it's unveiling doesn't trip him up later in his career, if there's one left by the time this has blown over... He missed out on EU President, so nows a good time to pull out the cobwebs and give them a good shake. He will always be a self serving liar though, and one of only a handful of people who I would quite willingly punch if I ever saw him face to face.


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Rara
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sun Dec 13, 2009 1:19 am



Quoting Kaitak (Reply 28):
I think that history will judge TB harshly

I would hope so. Baffles me that he's still bandied around as EU president and likewise. I was extremely disappointed with him; I had thought he was some sort of visionary statesman. I'm so glad the days of the Bush - Blair - Aznar clique are over.

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 31):

No, I still don't believe it is. It is fine you have your own opinion, but don't make it sound like it is the truth.

It's not about opinion, mate. You said the majority of people in the West was in favour of the war. Whichever way you define "West", this is simply incorrect.
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baroque
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sun Dec 13, 2009 3:55 am



Quoting GDB (Reply 7):
Baroque, I would not give Claire Short too much credit, to national exasperation she 'agonised' in public about whether she should resign or not, thinking that he staying in her post would help the situation on the ground.
Or as one commentator put it, oh for god's sake someone shoot her!

Well there is black (TB) and white Wilkie and a bit less so R Cook, and pale grey, Claire Short although there was such chaos it was difficult to follow the nuances.

A question though, what was the fate of the lesser Labour lights who were against invading Iraq. By rights they should have prospered, but the episode seems full of inequities as well as a great deal worse.

Quoting OA412 (Reply 14):
Of course not. But, Blair showed a lack of respect for the democratic process when he invaded Iraq. Furthermore, popular opinion in the UK and much of the West was actually against the war not for it.

All the references cited support that view and not one has been dredged up that has contrary evidence.

Quoting Kaitak (Reply 28):
I think that history will judge TB harshly and I think that we have a lot of learn from the way in which the war was handled and how the case for going to war was handled. One thing is clear: it will influence the way in which the UK and US go to war in future.

I do hope so. Nice to see the EU dismiss the lunatic idea of his being President so swiftly.

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 38):
and one of only a handful of people who I would quite willingly punch if I ever saw him face to face.

 checkmark  So I am not alone. I am still infuriated by that interview with the Tyne Bridge in the backdrop - even though I cannot remember what he said. During WWII for a long time, the entry to the Tyne Bridge from the Newcastle side had a large banner proclaiming:

BUY SAVINGS

CERTIFICIATES

It might have been National Savings Certificiates, but twas certificiates. I liked that a lot.
 
NoUFO
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:04 am



Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 13):
At the time Iraq was invaded, most people in the West was for the war believing Saddam had WMD.

Nonsense.

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 8):
Abu Ghraib itself has nothing to do with Iraq. Abu Ghraib was a mistake

If it was just a mistake, it was a horrendous one. And it was at the very least stupid, as it nullified the only ehtically justifiable reason for the invasion: To end the human rights violations.
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baroque
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:14 am



Quoting NoUFO (Reply 41):
Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 8):
Abu Ghraib itself has nothing to do with Iraq. Abu Ghraib was a mistake

If it was just a mistake, it was a horrendous one. And it was at the very least stupid, as it nullified the only ehtically justifiable reason for the invasion: To end the human rights violations.

Oh Jesus, I had missed that. So Abu Ghraib was a mistake. One has to ask. A mistake to have set up a camp like that. Or was it a mistake to have the news leak out? Oh dearie me! So Abu Ghraib had nothing to do with Iraq.

A. It was not sited in Iraq.

B. The majority of the prisoners were not Iraqi.

C. The guards were not part of the force occupying Iraq.

D. SEARCH ME.

Thanks NoUFO. And before someone starts explaining that they were all guilty, IIRC at least one of the "stars" in those revolting pictures was found not guilty and was paid compensation. Funny thing is, that the US does not seem, AFAIK, to have published a complete appraisal of what went on and why those types of treatment were being handed out. Gen Miller please one pace forward and start explaining. Saving that, perhaps is it something Obama might turn his hand to when completing a final report on Gitmo.
 
imiakhtar
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:34 am



Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 4):
Well it wasn't the best decision in the world, but at least we got rid of a dictator.

Were the thousands of Iraqi lives lost in the ensuing chaos worth it?

This headline along with countless other controversies, EU Lisbon Treaty and the mishandling of the economy, is probably the death knell of the labour party. Unless there is a drastic reshuffle of the government, the Tories have probably got the election in the bag and labour will be relegated to the third tier of British politics.
Whatever happened to Leon Trotsky?
 
baroque
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:46 am



Quoting Imiakhtar (Reply 43):
Unless there is a drastic reshuffle of the government, the Tories have probably got the election in the bag and labour will be relegated to the third tier of British politics.

Yes, the real cost for the UK could be the decimation of the alternate government in favour of a distinctly suspect lot of Tories. Can the third parties step into the breach? Seems doubtful. Still I suppose the Tories could turn out not to be as bad as they seem, once they get their duck houses in order and their moats cleaned up - as it were! Much like Bonking Boris.

Just imagine what the likes of Tam Dalyell are thinking!
 
imiakhtar
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:16 am



Quoting Baroque (Reply 44):
Can the third parties step into the breach? Seems doubtful.

Probably as much chance as Aston Villa winning the premier league or Pakistan winning a test match  Wink. Nevertheless, one can hope.

Quoting Baroque (Reply 44):
Still I suppose the Tories could turn out not to be as bad as they seem

The Tories in my mind are a bit of a queer bunch. On one side you have the climate change sceptics and on the other you have some MPs trying to scrap the minimum wage  Wow!. David Cameron is going to have a big job reeling in the "eccentrics".

Ultimately, with the current budget deficit, it's unanimously agreed that if the Tories do come to power there will be spending cuts. The most vulnerable (elderly and low-income families) that rely on the public sector will be hit hardest. Precisely why I shall never vote conservative.

Regards
Whatever happened to Leon Trotsky?
 
GDB
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RE: Blair: "We'd Have Invaded Iraq Anyway"

Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:10 am

If you are going to embark on a very major military operation, you really should have rather more public support than what there was, in the UK, at the time of the invasion.
Naturally, to show some solidarity with the armed forces, support tilted a bit more in favour.
Few if any had any regard for Saddam, naturally most were pleased to see him so, but the general skepticism for the idea and the wisdom for the whole idea of the invasion remained.

However, it was never about mixing up support for the war with support for the troops.
Most people are adult enough here to be able to separate the two, no crude 'bumper sticker' culture here thank god.
And all this crap we saw from Cheney and other Chickenhawks trying to link Iraq with Al Queda was greeted with total derision.
Notable that Blair never tried that one on his public.

This inquiry is throwing up military personnel at the time, who asked questions about what happens afterward, they did not get good answers.
The fact that the Chief Of The Defence staff asked the Attorney General more than once about the legality of the whole invasion is very telling.

Only 1968, since the end of WW2, has not seen British forces engaged in operations somewhere, so it's not as if we are unused to the idea of troops going to war.
The only time in that whole period where there was significant public and parliamentary opposition to a war was in 1956, when the UK, France and Israel, cooked up a false pretext to attack Egypt after Nasser took over the Anglo-French owned Suez Canal.
In this instance, the US put intolerable economic pressure on the UK to withdraw, it was a humiliation that ended the career of the Prime Minister, Antony Eden.
(And it was the main reason of French distrust of the US ever since).

The anti US feeling in the UK after that, was rather less, since so many had thought the Suez operation to be illegal (it was) as well as plain stupid.
(This included many in the military and just about all of the diplomatic service).

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